Words by Matt Huxley
Next Gen is always a mixed kettle of fish. On one hand you have the opportunity to discover the future faces of the Australian fashion industry, on the other hand you also get to see the result of overconfidence and ambition. Whilst none of the designers in today’s showcase truly flopped, there were definite hits and misses.
Hands down, best show of the bunch. This was a fully realised, fully conceptualised showing. The designer made excellent use of tailoring in order to deliver a collection that was wearable, yet inspired. The intricate splicing use of sheer, leather and sequins was clever, the use of corset belts to cinch in the models’ waists was smart, and a pair of chiffon flairs with a doubled up hem were artistic genius embodied in a flowy af pair of pants.
Another showing that I strongly enjoyed. An edgy collection, the use of ruched up sheer fabric to create coats and jackets was fantastic, as was the Margiela-esque mask paired with a extended cream gown and matching gauntlet globes. Whilst the inclusion of tassels was really nothing knew, it added to the garments, instead of being the primary focus of them. This type of restraint will surely serve Henly well in future showings.
Sarah Hope Schofield
A collection of Gaga inspired cowgirl hats and Comme des Garcons like felt squares, the Sarah Hope Schofield regrettably had more misses than hits for me. I applauded the extended seam pants which were both unique and creatively wearable. An extravagant larger than life polkadot bustier was also inspired.
Think Tibetan Yak farmer meets Deadliest Catch and you’ll get the gist for this show. it wasn’t a total miss for me, and the collection was clearly inspired and quite well crafted, however for me it was a case of too much. There was too much fur, too much rope and just too much of everything. An oversize jumper with extended cuffs and rope detailing was a standout piece for me. Good concepts, but just needed a tad more restraint and refining.
For me this was the epitome of farmer chic. Believe it or not that’s not a criticism. Think rock patterned bustiers and corsets layered over stark white shirting. Woven hats and hands filled with barley strands. Tartan and gingham galore. Brilliant crafting. One of them was a real throwback to Gisele Bundchen in the 2006 VS Show. Such vibes. Let’s also spare a thought to the model who fell. Girl, ya got up and owned the entire rest of the runway, don’t beat yourself up. Props to you.
I’m honestly in two minds about this show. There were specific pieces I loved, but the overall star motif gave me a distinct Americana vibe that I just wasn’t vibin (such pun). A pair of capri length flute flair pants were completely and utterly brilliant. As was a bustier/cream shirting combo. But the stars emblazoned onto leather and sheer were just a tad too much. Crafting however was impeccable.
Images provided by Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.